Flash Hiders: Safety First

Flash Hiders and Battle Tycoon rarely draw notice in the history of fighting games. The two titles were the now-defunct Right Stuff’s attempts at snatching a piece of the genre’s sugary and super-saturated pie in the 1990s. Neither succeeded, but I suspect they were ahead of the curve. Every modern fighting game has a console-oriented story mode with RPG-ish customization, and Right Stuff explored that territory with the original Flash Hiders in 1993. More can be read in this GameSetWatch piece I wrote years ago, even though I now see some typos and at least one factual error: Patchet is a were-polar-bear, not a werewolf.

I like Flash Hiders, and I also like its manual. Game instructions usually include guidelines for handling a cartridge or CD, and every so often the publisher might add little comics of the game’s characters failing to heed such advice. This is a lost art today, but it was common in the Japanese market of the early 1990s, when CDs were a new technology and there was always the chance that some consumers would try to play a game by breaking the disc apart and picking their noses with the shards.

My favorite game-safety guides are the ones from Phantasy Star III and IV, but the last page of the Flash Hiders manual is also very helpful. It offers plenty of illustrated advice for first-time CD-ROM owners.

“Do not step on a CD, as it will transform the people nearby into snake-tongued monsters with a desire for human flesh.”

“Do not clean CDs with rough material such as the loincloths of your traveling companions. This will violate indecent exposure laws.”

“Do not allow men in turbans to menace the CD with bladed weapons. This reinforces negative stereotypes of certain cultures, and racist caricatures are hurtful and unwelcome.”

“Do not allow cyborgs to gaze into the reflective surface of a CD as they consider how their myoelectric modifications have eroded their humanity. They’re best off not thinking about it.”

“Be sure to write your name on the CD surface so that everyone knows it’s yours. This will also ensure that your memory will survive thousands of years into the future, as the CD format is ageless and indestructible.”

“Do not try to seduce the CD with coquettish blushing and murmured compliments. The CD’s affections can be won only through bawdy jokes and elaborate mating dances.”

“Be sure to store your CD in a museum display, as this will prove to all that games are art.”

“Do not simultaneously set the CD on fire and encase it in ice. Light it aflame, allow it to return to room temperature, and then freeze it with a magic spell.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:53 PM

    scan yr manuals for the greater good